Our Mission is to conduct world-class research in biochemistry and molecular medicine. To excel in undergraduate, graduate and medical education, and to serve the university through leadership in forums committed to graduate and professional school admissions and curriculum.

The research interests of the departmental faculty are focused in the fundamental molecular aspects of cell biology, gene expression, cancer biology, membrane biology, glycobiology, neurobiology, muscle physiology, human genetics, chemical and structural biology, molecular imaging and drug development. In addition to innovative research activities, faculty are involved in the teaching and training of medical and doctoral students.

At the Davis Campus, the department maintains laboratories at Tupper Hall, the Genome Building and in the Department of Chemistry. At the Sacramento Campus, the department maintains laboratories at the Oak Park Research Building, Research I and III Buildings, and the MIND Institute.

The department’s primary research funding comes from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, and a wide variety of Private agencies.

The department’s teaching focus includes, Lower Division courses, Graduate courses, and Professional courses for medical students.

Each of us has an obligation to the community and the UC Davis Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine strives to build and maintain a culture and climate based on mutual respect and caring. We recognize and cherish the richness contributed to our lives by our diversity. We further recognize the right of every individual to think, speak, express and debate any idea. We support and uphold the UC Davis Principles of Community.

Department News

Calibrating Lactoferrin protein in milk may boost learning and protect neurons

Frederic Troy, Ph.D.

Diets with different concentrations of lactoferrin (Lf), a protein found naturally in human and cow milk, have significantly different impacts on brain development and neuroprotection, a new study co-led by Professor Frederic A. Troy II has found.

“Our studies revealed an unexpected and rather paradoxical finding,” Troy said.

The study, published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, showed that lower Lf levels were linked to better neurodevelopment and learning. Higher levels were strongly correlated with the protection of neurons and possibly the prevention of neurological-associated disorders.

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The NIH Somatic Cell Genome Editing program

Kit S. Lam, M.D., Ph.D.

David Segal, Ph.D.

The NIH has allocated US$190 million over 6 years in support of the Somatic Cell Genome Editing (SCGE) Consortium, which now includes 72 principal investigators from 38 institutions that are pursuing 45 distinct but well-integrated projects. BMM professors Kit Lam and David Segal are part of three projects at UC Davis, along with R. Holland Cheng, Alice Tarantal, and Dennis Hartigan-O'Connor. A paper describing this effort appears in the April 8, 2021 issue of Nature.

The paper can be found here »

New Compound Related to Psychedelic Ibogaine Could Treat Addiction, Depression

David Olson, Ph.D.

A non-hallucinogenic version of the psychedelic drug ibogaine, with potential for treating addiction, depression and other psychiatric disorders, has been developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis. A paper describing the work is published Dec. 9 in Nature.

“Psychedelics are some of the most powerful drugs we know of that affect the brain,” said David Olson, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry and molecular medicine at UC Davis and senior author on the paper. “It’s unbelievable how little we know about them.”

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